Arthur Golden

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Arthur Golden
Born (1956-12-06) December 6, 1956 (age 63)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationWriter
Period20th century
GenreHistorical fiction
SpouseGertrude “Trudy” Legge (1982–present)
ChildrenHays Nathaniel Golden
Tess Iphigene Golden
RelativesRuth Sulzberger Holmberg (mother)
Arthur Hays Sulzberger (grandfather)

Arthur Sulzberger Golden (born December 6, 1956) is an American writer. He is the author of the bestselling novel Memoirs of a Geisha (1997).

Early life[edit]

Golden was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the son of Ruth (née Sulzberger) and Ben Hale Golden.[1][2] His mother was Jewish and his father a gentile.[1] Through his mother he is a member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family.[1] His mother was a daughter of long-time Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger and granddaughter of Times owner and publisher Adolph Ochs.[3] His parents divorced when he was eight years old. His father died five years after. He was raised in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and attended Lookout Mountain Elementary School in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Golden spent his middle and high school years at the Baylor School (then a boys-only school for day and boarding students) in Chattanooga, graduating in 1974 before attending Harvard University and receiving a degree in art history, specializing in Japanese art. In 1980, he earned an M.A. in Japanese history at Columbia University, and also learned Mandarin Chinese. After a summer at Peking University in Beijing, China, he worked in Tokyo. When he returned to the United States, he earned an M.A. in English at Boston University.

Career[edit]

Golden's most well-known novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, was written over a 6-year period, during which Golden rewrote the entire novel three times; each re-write saw the novel change in point of view before Golden finally settled on writing in the first-person viewpoint of Sayuri.

Golden conducted interviews with a number of geisha, including famous ex-geisha Mineko Iwasaki, as part of his research into the world of geisha. After the Japanese edition of the novel was published, Golden was sued by Iwasaki for breach of contract and defamation of character, with Iwasaki alleging that Golden had agreed to protect her anonymity if she was interviewed about her life as a geisha, due to the traditional code of silence held between geisha in regards to their clients. The lawsuit was settled out of court in February 2003.[4]

After its release in 1997, Memoirs of a Geisha spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list. It has sold more than four million copies in English and has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world. In 2005, Memoirs of a Geisha was made into a feature film starring Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, Gong Li, and Ken Watanabe, and directed by Rob Marshall, garnering three Academy Awards.

Personal life[edit]

Golden is married to Trudy Legge; they have two children: a son, Hays Nathaniel Golden, and a daughter, Tess Iphigene Golden.[3][5] Golden currently lives in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McFadden, Robert D. (April 19, 2017). "Ruth Sulzberger Holmberg, Newspaper Publisher Born for the Job, Dies at 96". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Ben Hale Golden, Ex‐Publisher Of Chattanooga Times, 59, Dies". The New York Times. March 15, 1970.
  3. ^ a b New York Magazine: "Children of the Times - Who’s who in the Ochs-Sulzberger clan" retrieved September 27, 2015
  4. ^ "Tokyo Premiere of 'Memoirs of a Geisha' Nets Mixed Reaction, Criticism". CBC News. November 29, 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Kathleen Rubenstein, Hays Golden". The New York Times. June 3, 2007.